Black Philanthropy Initiative

Launched in 2007, the Black Philanthropy Initiative (BPI) serves as a model for rethinking philanthropy in Forsyth County’s Black community.  Through engagement and encouragement, BPI educates people to utilize their philanthropic strengths of time, talent, and treasure to impact meaningful change and address identified needs in the Black community.


The Black Philanthropy Initiative is led by a group of community volunteers who acknowledge the traditions of sharing in the Black community and seek to expand charitable giving through education and impact.

advisory committee
  • Veronica Bitting
  • Norma Corley
  • Leroy Davis
    1st Vice Chair / Treasurer, Advisory Committee
  • Robin Barksdale Ervin
  • Shawan Gabriel
  • Nicole Gentiles
  • Robert Leak, III
    Chair, Grants Committee
  • Dr. William Lewis
  • Nicole Little
  • Roshanda McCrimmon
    Chair, Resource Development Committee
  • Brittany Norton
    Chair, Community Engagement Committee
  • Mae Rodney
  • Leslie Sadler
  • Melvin Scales
    Chair, Board & Governance Committee
  • Corlis Sellers
    Chair, Advisory Committee
  • Michael (Mike) Silver
  • Tiffany Waddell Tate
    2nd Vice Chair, Advisory Committee
  • Bernadette (Bernie) Wallace
  • Carrie M. Woods


The Black Philanthropy Initiative offers two types of grants.

Impact Grants

BPI’s Impact Grants are investments in local programs, projects, and initiatives that support issues impacting Black communities in Forsyth County. In particular, this program is looking to invest in Black-led organizations/groups with annual budgets of less than $150,000, recognizing that there are local groups/organizations doing impactful work that are newer and/or have smaller budgets than their counterparts.

How to Apply

The February 2021 grant cycle offers grants of up to $1,000. Read BPI’s Grant Guidelines and apply online through February 9 at midnight.

  • Building Resources in Disadvantaged Groups Through Economic & Empowerment (BRIDGE) – $1,000 to collaborate with Winston-Salem State University’s Center for Entrepreneurship to promote financial literacy workshops to students and entrepreneurs.
  • Hoops4L.Y.F.E – $1,000 to purchase materials for STEAM activities offered at afterschool and summer enrichment camps.
  • Kimberly Park Tennis Association – $1,000 to provide financial assistance for tennis tournament fees for youth participants.
  • Hope to Thrive $5,000 to provide food and services to families of color that promote health and well-being  
  • Journee Bees Village $5,000 to provide virtual financial education, social and emotional support, and career planning to young men
  • Love Community Development Corporation – $5,000 to support senior volunteers offering virtual tutoring in reading for students in grades K-3
  • The Wells Center Inc. $1,800 to support a post-release program for formerly incarcerated women
  • Winston-Salem African American Archive $5,000 for educational presentations and tours featuring the history of the local African American community
  • Masjid Al-Muminun $5,000 for food basket distribution for families living in poverty and scholarships for students pursuing higher education
Equity in Education Grants

BPI’s traditional grantmaking round has a primary focus of Advancing Racial Equity in Education. In April 2020, BPI postponed its spring grant cycle, instead making direct investments to local schools to address equity issues around remote student learning, recognizing that technology and Internet access have become a heightened equity issue with the closing of schools.

For the November 2020 grant cycle, BPI requested proposals that work toward its focus area of Advancing Racial Equity in Education so that Black students and graduates can gain access, advance, and have the support needed to thrive. This focus area comes from the data in BPI’s 2018 Rethinking Philanthropy report, which reveals how systemic inequities have disproportionately affected the Black population in Forsyth County.

BPI will offer another Equity in Education grant cycle in 2021.

APRIL 2020 Grant Recipients
  • Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools – $10,000 to provide resources for students to fully engage in remote learning
  • Quality Education Academy – $5,000 to provide resources for students to fully engage in remote learning
  • Carter G. Woodson School – $5,000 to provide resources for students to fully engage in remote learning
NOVEMBER 2020 Grant Recipients
  • LEAD Girls of NC Inc – $10,000 to help middle school girls boost literacy and develop critical social and emotional skills
  • My Brother's Second Chance – $10,000 to provide direct services and support to students of color and their families
  • Neighborhood's Hands – $10,000 to provide tutoring support for elementary students in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools
  • Sherman Academy Inc – $10,000 for a parent mentor program and culturally-responsive math and reading materials
  • St. Paul United Methodist Church – $5,000 to support a remote learning site providing services to Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools students
  • The Dream Team Foundation, Inc – $10,000 to support a remote learning site providing services to Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools students
  • Triad Cultural Arts, Inc – $5,000 to support a mentoring program focused on literacy for 3rd grade African-American boys
BPI’s Report: Rethinking Philanthropy

Rethinking Philanthropy: An Exploration of Black Communities in Forsyth County was published by BPI in 2018. This report draws attention to Black history in Forsyth County and its direct influence on systemic issues and inequities still prevalent in our community today.

HOW TO Get Involved

Attend an Event

Whatever it Takes: Supporting Our Students & Educators of Color  
BPI's virtual fundraising event took place on Thursday, October 15. Watch the recording to learn about BPI's work and hear a panel discussion on education.


The Black Philanthropy Initiative would not be able to do its work without the involvement of active volunteers who serve on committees. Volunteers are invited to become involved on a BPI subcommittee including Board Development and Governance, Events and Marketing, Grants, or Resource Development. Email Shamika Starke to get engaged.


Gifts to the Black Philanthropy Fund support grantmaking to organizations that address racial equity in education in Forsyth County.

Gifts to the Black Philanthropy Initiative Endowment will support BPI's efforts in perpetuity—to further support, educate, and engage the greater community in cultivating philanthropic solutions to address identified needs in the Black community.

Donate now
For more information
Andrea Hulighan
Director, Strategic Initiatives
(336) 604-5034
Shamika Starke
Manager, Strategic Initatives
(336) 604-5160
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